Today I´m very excited about this collaboration post with one of my favorite bloggers, Pooja. Pooja is behind Lifes Fine Whine. Among many other things, she uses to post famous quotes. I read quotes on other blogs and I usually wonder which is the blogger´s fav, the most useful, the first one he or she remembers… When she let me suggest topics, so I suggested a post about the most meaningful quotes for us. She liked the idea and here we are.
I didn´t pay attention to quotes, sayings or proverbs until I was in high school. I failed my first philosophy exam. I couldn´t believe it. The exam consisted of three questions, about pre-Socratic authors. I didn´t know the answer to one of them, but I answered it anyway, mixing Anaxímenes with Anaxágoras. I got a miserable 4 (of 10). When the teacher told me my grade, also added: “It´s important to know what you know, but also it´s important to know what you don´t know”. My first thought was “this guy is insane!”. I calmed down days later, but the freaking quote still resonated in my head.
I can´t say it really made sense until next exam: Plato. He asked Plato´s concept of friendship… and I didn´t know a word about it. Here I go again, another 4 – I thought. Reading the other questions I realized that there was no question about Plato´s cave. Five questions, none of them about Plato´s cave. Definitely, this teacher is on meds or something!
I answered the friendship question the last: “I don´t know what Plato said about friendship, but I do know about Plato´s cave which is an important part to understand Plato´s thinking”. The day the teacher came with our grades, I was expecting a good rant. He gave me the exam and said: “I liked your Plato´s cave explanation, I gave you 1 point for it. You got a 9”.
I was astonished! Against all odds, that nonsense quote made sense and it worked in my favor. That was the first time I realized this kind of strange sentences is meant to help. The original quote belongs to Confucius, and it says: “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge”.
This is, without a doubt, the first quote that I remember made an impact on me. Since then, I faced the exams more calmly, understanding that not knowing a question was not the end of the world. Outside of a classroom, this quote helps me to admit that I don´t know a word about a lot of things so, I listen. Most of the times I learn something new.
Now you know one of my most meaningful quotes and the story behind it. What we don´t know yet is Pooja´s quote. Are you as curious as me? Click here to Pooja´s post.